National Planning Policy Framework: Federation Briefing

Find out what the National Planning Policy Framework means for the delivery of affordable housing.

7 May 2012

8 May 2012

The finalised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 27 March 2012. Positive changes have been made in the final document from earlier drafts that strengthen the need for local plans to identify an affordable housing land supply, on the presumption in favour of ‘on site’ affordable housing, on rural exception sites and on viability issues.

The Federation welcomed the final NPPF and its potential to help create a simpler and more positive planning system that better supports ‘good growth’. In our high profile media comment on the NPPF, we also emphasised that the onus is now on local councils to maximise the new localist planning system's support for affordable housing. There is a key role for housing associations in assisting their partner local authorities in this process.

We had hoped that the NPPF would emphasise the importance of new housing, including affordable housing, in supporting economic growth. We had also hoped that there would be clearer guidance on how local plans should accommodate affordable housing – making specific allocations and setting clear numerical targets for affordable housing stock. The NPPF does not do this, and these issues will now have to be addressed separately.